Vedder Mountain project going back to public hearing

The public will get a second say on a 31-lot single family development being proposed on the northwest slope of Vedder Mountain.

Council has given first reading to proposed zoning changes that would allow Hayes Creek Valley Enterprises, owned by Anthony Penner, to subdivide the properties located at the 41100 to 41300 block of Old Yale Road.

The public will get a second say on a 31-lot single family development being proposed on the northwest slope of Vedder Mountain.

Council has given first reading to proposed zoning changes that would allow Hayes Creek Valley Enterprises, owned by Anthony Penner, to subdivide the properties located at the 41100 to 41300 block of Old Yale Road.

The proposal will now move to a public hearing to be scheduled in the coming weeks. This is the second time the project has gone to such a hearing.

In August of 2010 council agreed to hold a public hearing on the same project, which it later rejected. A similar application was made in 2005, but it was turned down due to opposition from nearby farmers.

Council was divided on whether to grant first reading. Couns. Simon Gibson, Moe Gill and Lynne Harris were opposed to the idea of going back to the public.

“There were numerous objections when it came to us the first time,” said Coun. Harris.

She said it is an isolated site and is a “great distance” from public transportation and other services.

“It significantly impacts the farmers in the area.”

The project, which Coun. Gibson called “country estate-type homes” would see a large rise in residential traffic on the rural roads.

Although he voted in favor of moving forward, Abbotsford Mayor George Peary said it is “anything but smart growth.

“What we’ve done is voted to take it into the public domain to see what they think,” he said.

Council will listen to the public response and make a decision after the hearing.

Developers who have projects declined by council are permitted to reapply every six months.